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How 'Room to Read' changed Roshanara's story
Harsh Ranjan
Last Updated : 09 May 2017 02:22:33 PM IST
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Roshanara, an alumna of Room to Read’s Girls' Education Program (GEP) from Delhi will be visiting New York City and Washington, D.C. to speak at Room to Read's annual fundraising event on May 15, 2017.

The Gala dinner will be held at the rooftop of Jones Day overlooking the U.S. Capitol. And, Roshanara will have an opportunity to raise funds for girls like her in need of life skills training and mentoring.

At one time, Roshanara almost dropped out of school due to family pressure for an arranged marriage. But due to Room to Read’s life skill training, today she pursues her studies from Jamia Millia Islamia University and has even worked part-time at a doctor's clinic to support her siblings’ education. She learnt communication and interpersonal skills and "how to gain the support of my parents and to impress upon them the importance of educating a girl."”

Not only did she change her life but is an active alumna and eagerly leads events organized in support of girls’ education. She has mobilized many girls to join life skills training of Room to Read.

India is home to over one billion people, with 36% of the world’s illiterate people living in India and research shows this number could rise to 50% by 2020. Room to Read believes that world change starts with educated children and operates across eight states in India.

"There are more than 11,000 girls like Roshnara who have utilized life skills training to their advantage. GEP is important to bring the gender parity in education and 84% of girls complete their secondary education who are enrolled in life skills program of Room to Read," emphasizes Randeep Kaur Director of GEP, Room to Read, India.

The Gala Dinner in New York will feature appearances by Room to Read Founder John Wood, Girls Education Program Alumna Roshanara, and special guest H.E. Navtej Sarna, Ambassador of India to the United States. On this special night, ‘Active for Education’ will change the lives of 20,000 children in India. 

Two award winning short documentaries were screened for select audience. These short documentaries was awarded The Laadli Media & Advertising Award for Gender Sensitivity in the electronic documentaries category and also awarded 2nd place in the short film category contest by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights.

Both recognitions are for videos produced by the organization which highlight the impact of its Girl's Education Program, which supports girls in nine countries to complete secondary school with the skills necessary to negotiate key life decisions.

Sourav Banerjee, Country Director of Room to Read explains the strategy " Room to Read concentrates efforts during a girl’s transition into secondary school in 6th and 7th grades when she has a high risk of dropping out of school because we know that wages for girls increase by 15–25% for each additional year a girl remains in secondary school.”

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